With the economy down, everyone is trying to hold on to their money.  It seems no one wants to enjoy life anymore because they think they can’t. Seniors are most likely living on a fixed income but still want to travel and find a bargain winter escape vacation in the process. For those who don’t want to spend a fortune and still enjoy traveling, Cuba is the place to go. Cuban hotels can range in price from basic, low cost to high end five star hotels. There’s something to fit every pocket book.

Cuba offers hundreds of resorts covering almost the entire coastline.  The island has been attracting both young and older tourists from Canada, Europe, South and Central America for the past two decades. Tourism is one of the major industries of the Island and the Cubans have been very successful in developing this section of their economy.  Taking advantage of Cuba’s natural blessings of warm weather and beautiful beaches, Cuba sells reasonably priced vacation packages for winter travel getaways. Add to the mix:  friendly people, tourist attractions and activities and a well-developed cultural life, a vacation in Cuba is worth the price. An all inclusive Cuba for seniors is a bargain.  World famous Cuban cigars, unfortunately, are not included in the price.

The majority of Cuban resorts can now be found on all the shores of the island. Each holiday resort has its own uniqueness. The landscape is somewhat exotic and tropical with secluded beaches, dense forests, mountains and miles and miles of sugar cane and tobaccos fields. On the eastern side of the island, there is the rocky Sierra Maestra mountain range with Santiago de Cuba at the most southerly point of the island.  The beaches here would be classified as black sand and in parts, a little rocky.  Perhaps the most popular resort area is the very well known Varadero peninsula, one of the biggest resort areas of Cuba and in the Caribbean. Also popular is the Holguin/Guardalavaca area,  the oldest established tourist region in the country.  New and upcoming Cayo Santa Maria, the small island in the north connected by a causeway to the mainland is now a favorite destination because of its white sandy beaches.

The best vacation deals in Cuba for the senior traveler is an all-inclusive vacation package at one of the many Cuban resorts.  Most hotels and resorts offer all-inclusive Cuba for seniors. These all-inclusive packages include everything: flights, hotel as well as food and local drinks.  Your all inclusive package may offer a “European Plan” which offers breakfast only – check the details.

The Varadero resort area of Cuba is about two hours drive from Havana.  Our recommendations for resorts in Varadero include the Sol Palmeras, Meliá Las Américas, Paradisus Princesa del Mar Resort & Spa, Blau Marina Varadero and the Melia Varadero.  Sol Palmeras is located right on the beach and offers not only hotel rooms but very pleasant  fully-equipped bungalows.  At the 5 star Blau Marina Varadero, book an oceanfront room for a great view of the very wide and clean beach.  The beach at the Blau Marina resort is the best beach in the area.  The Paradisus and the Melia further down the beach could be classified as nicer resorts and worth the extra two hundred  dollars more, but the beaches are not as wide and perfectly white.  Meliá Las Américas is on pretty beach but if you like to take long walks, it’s a relatively short beach for serious exercise.  Mind you, the staff at Meliá Las Américas gets 5 stars for their service and friendliness. Also, while in Varadero, don’t miss the opportunity to take one of the optional tours to Havana.

Cuban resorts have certainly made an effort to improve their image over the years. While the service is usually impeccable, the cuisine has sometimes lagged behind.  Resort food in Cuba can be boring or plain after a few days and for this reason, you should take advantage of eating in the resort’s speciality restaurants or travel beyond the resort to find something different. This food problem is largely due to the American embargo they’ve had to live with since 1959.  However, as far as entertainment, optional tours for sightseeing, beautiful tropical beaches and almost year round great weather, Cuba has a lot to offer.

The average cost to Cuba for seniors for a one week holiday runs about $900-$1,400.  The luxury 5 star Cuban resorts in Varadero are slightly more expensive but offer more amenities such as spa services, massages, golf and a whole lot of other activities.  There are so many resorts in Cuba to choose from, all you have to do is a little research, find the area you want to go and then speak with a travel agent who’s a specialist in Cuban vacations. Also good to know – if you travel in a group, be it with friends or grand kids – many resorts in Cuba have rooms known as “quads” available for a family group.

If an all-inclusive resort vacation is not your style, we suggest you visit Havana, its capital city.  It’s a fascinating city full of music, art, museums and beautiful architecture, slowly and painstakingly being restored to its former glory.  There are plenty of restaurants in Havana offering more of a variety in excellent cuisine not typically found at the resorts.  Havana is definitely the place to go and there are plenty of hotels to suit every budget and travel style. Three hotels in Havana we’ve stay at and can recommend are the Hotel Nacional in the Vedado area, Hotel Riviera and the Saratoga Hotel in Old Havana.  There are at least 25 hotels in Havana which offer all inclusive package deals. With so much choice in hotels and resorts, your only problem might be which hotel or resort to select for your winter getaway.

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